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June 2, 2009

Decipher the fun at CW's Art Museums as a Revolutionary spy

Do you think the art of spying started with James Bond? George Washington put spy techniques into practice long before 007. Young guests visiting Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museums can learn about these secrets and more during family programs offered this summer that include:

  • World Turned Upside Down, 1:30 p.m., Tuesdays, June 16-Aug. 11, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Explore the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Then create a patriotic souvenir to take home. For ages 10 and up.
  • Crack the Code, 4 p.m., Tuesdays, June 16-Aug. 11, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Learn about secret codes and ciphers used by George Washington and other leaders during the American Revolution. Try your hand at “cracking the code,” using the spy techniques. For ages eight and older.
  • Wee Folk, 10:30 a.m., Wednesdays, June 17-Aug. 12, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Children are invited to enjoy a story, explore the museum galleries and make a craft. Designed for children ages three to seven. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Drawing on George, 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays, June 17-Aug. 12, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On a guided tour of the galleries, families will search artwork for flags, bald eagles, George Washington and Lady Liberty. Participants then will make a keepsake to take home.
  • Folk Art Afternoons, 4 p.m., Wednesdays, June 17-Aug. 12, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Drop in and create your own folk art object based on the folk art collections to take home.
  • The Traveler’s Pocketbook, 11 a.m., Fridays, June 19-Aug. 28, Wetherburn’s Tavern. As an 18th-century guest at Wetherburn’s Tavern, decide how to spend your budget for food, lodging and entertainment. Presented for children ages eight and above. Space is limited.
  • Magical Creatures, 1:30 p.m., Fridays, June 19-Aug. 28, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On this special guided tour, explore the galleries for griffins, phoenixes, mermaids, dragons and unicorns while recording your discoveries in a book to take home. For children ages eight and above.
  • Art Adventures, 1:30 p.m., Saturdays, June 20-Aug. 29, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Explore the art galleries on a guided tour for families investigating a special theme or collection of objects. Then create a work of art to take home.
  • Mini Masterpieces, 4 p.m., Saturdays, June 20-Aug. 29, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Drop in and create an artist trading card to commemorate your visit to Colonial Williamsburg’s museums. No experience is necessary. Bring your imagination for turning magazine and catalog photographs, copies of 18th-century prints and colored paper in a mini collage.

    The following guided tours and interactive programs also are offered:

  • Decorative Arts Highlights, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily, June 15-Aug. 30, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Knowledgeable museum volunteers introduce guests to some of the masterworks on exhibition, such as paintings, ceramics, textiles, furniture and silver.
  • An Introduction to Folk Art, noon and 2 p.m. daily, June 15-Aug. 30, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Guided tours introduce guests to the whimsical and fascinating paintings, sculpture, textiles from Mrs. Rockefeller’s original collection for which the museum was founded.
  • Focus on Furniture, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m., Tuesdays, June 16-Aug. 25 and Thursdays, June 18-Aug. 27, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Museum volunteers guide this in-depth tour of 18th- and 19th-century furniture, including rare baroque, rococo and neo-classical tables, chairs, chest and desks.
  • Migrating Cultures, 5 p.m., Thursdays, June 18, July 9, 23, Aug. 6 and 20, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. On this 45-minute guided tour, learn about 18th-century European immigrant groups, why they moved to the colonies and where they settled. Trace their migrations through the objects they brought with them or produced in America. Examine decorative details on furniture, paintings, musical instruments and learn about the immigrant groups that made them.
  • Ceramics Upclose, 2:15 and 3:30 p.m., Fridays, June 19-Aug. 28 and Sundays, June 21-Aug. 30, DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. This in-depth tour of the museum’s ceramics collections includes interesting stories about the craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they were used. Learn more about earthenware, stoneware and porcelain from Europe, America and the Orient.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket or Good Neighbor Card provides access to enjoy these programs.

    Programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund.

    Entrance to Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. The museums are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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